I recently had the pleasure–and honor–of speaking with 2/3 of the legendary hip hop trio, De La Soul. Now in their 4th decade of releasing fun and insightful rap tunes, Pos and Dave have linked up with French producers Chokolate and Khalid (aka 2 & 4) for a narrative album, First Serve.
The album follows two friends Deen Whitter (Dave) and Jacob ‘Pop Life’ Barrow (Pos) and their ascending rap career, including the inevitable bumps along the way. Throughout the album the two De La rappers stay in character, and if you’ve seen the video for “Must B The Music” you will be able to see the physical differences of Dave and Pos and their First Serve personas.
We touched on many topics including the concept behind First Serve—due out thisc coming Monday, April 2 on Duck Down Music–what Maseo is into, The Roots picnic and the possibility of a new De La album.
OKP: I’ve gotten a chance to listen to the First Serve album a few times, can you break down the concept of album?
Dave: I mean, there is no concept; it’s just a story being told from another perspective. Everyone’s looking for a concept, especially when you put the name “De La” to it, it has to have some type of meaning or concept or something like that. It’s just a project we did in character. It’s like a movie without a screen.
It’s another project that we got into with two producers from France who were interested in working with us. They felt like they had a project that we could take to a place that they envisioned and that’s really what it’s about.
The subject is about two guys coming up, wanting to be rappers and go through their personal trials and tribulations. And they find a way to make that work, and the success of their careers come about and the story continues later on down the line.
The music is probably more of the story because all of the stuff in between kinda pieces the music together. There’s no real concept or guideline, just the idea to put together an album of the lives of these two characters.
OKP: How do these two characters differ from your real personas?
Pos: Yeah when me and him were putting together the characters, we didn’t want them to be just like who we are – the people in De La Soul. My character (Pop Life), is physically a little bit more flashy. And his whole persona is just really out there.
Even when we were writing, we were trying to take on certain things – okay this is something that Pos would say so we wouldn’t say it like that. And we really tried to dive into making this person so much different than what I am.
My character’s name says it all – Pop Life – he’s trying to be popular, flashy and out there.
(Purchase Plug 1 & 2 Present First Serve on iTunes via the button below):